PORTLAND, Ore. – A man has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to stealing COVID-19 relief money — just months after being released from prison.
Dimitrius Nicholai Pryce was sentenced to eight months in federal prison and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to wire fraud, the Department of Justice announced in a news release.
Pryce was released from prison in February 2020 after serving a 70-month sentence for armed robbery. In July 2020, prosecutors said that Pryce submitted a fraudulent application for an Economic Impact Disaster Loan. In the application, Pryce claimed he “ran an ‘entertainment venue’ that generated $53,000 in revenue in the twelve months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Pryce also lied on the form and said he had not been on any form of parole or probation after a felony conviction in the last five years, prosecutors said.
The Small Business Administration approved the loan and paid Pryce nearly $25,000. Prosecutors said that Pryce withdrew $21,000 the same day he received it and spent the entire amount in three months.
Prosecutors said that Pryce submitted three more fraudulent applications for additional COVID-19 relief money in January 2021, in which he said he was in construction. All three applications were denied.
A judge ordered Pryce to pay $24,900 in restitution to the SBA.